Epiphone Les Paul Special I P90

I’m not sure why this guitar is not sold in Canada, if it’s only sold at guitar Center in the US or what. I ordered one last year because I have a thing for P90 pickups. This is a cheap guitar so the pickups aren’t that great, but it’s something I plan to mod….I keep planning and not modding but it’s the planning that’s fun.


This is a cool guitar, I really enjoy it. It has the shorter 24.75” scale which I really like. When I play it next to my Strat you can really notice the difference even though it’s only ¾” shorter. The strings have less tension and it’s a bit easier to reach frets. It is a very light guitar, and very thin. Because it’s so light, thin and short it maybe feels a bit toylike but I still enjoy it. The only weird thing is it feels to me like the bridge is too far forward on the guitar. Not a complaint really but your right hand can feel a bit like it’s in the wrong place. I’d rather have it this way than on the Strat though, which feels too far back.


The sound of this guitar is really nice. The P90’s have a lot of growl and break up nicely with mild gain. If I play the Strat and then the LP without changing the amp settings the Strat will sound very clean and thin, the LP will sound full with a bit of breakup. The blues sound that I love. If you increase the gain the pickups are quite noisy when you aren’t in the middle position, but that’s pretty normal with P90’s. If you don’t know P90’s are fatter single coils. They have a more full sound than the single coils Fender uses and in my opinion have more dynamic response than humbuckers. My favourite kind of pickup, though I don’t play really high gain stuff. For that you definitely need humbuckers.


Let’s talk about what will be modded on this when I find the time and money to do this. The bridge is not intonatable if that’s a word, and could stand to be upgraded. I’m a huge fan of hardtails and this guitar has a wraparound bridge which I really like. The tuners are pretty bad as well, and it’s almost a necessity to upgrade them. I’d love to put locking tuners on this guitar since I absolutely hate restringing but they seem to be hard to find. From what I’ve read the tuners on this guitar are vintage 8mm style and it seems most locking tuners are 10mm. I know what you’re saying, just get the drill out and put in 10mm tuners. It’s quick and easy and I don’t wanna. I’ll screw it up somehow and don’t want to deal with it. Besides why are you talking to a blog post? Remember kids, people think you are weird when you talk to your computer screen or TV. Unless you’re watching a hockey game and screaming at the stupid refs which is perfectly acceptable and just makes good sense…though it’s also the reason my wife said the kids couldn’t watch hockey with me. Whatever, go Leafs.


The pickups are something I’ve considered upgrading. Not sure about this one. Like I’ve mentioned I just hack around in my basement. I’m not sure that expensive pickups are going to make a big difference, or big enough for the expense. Something to think about. I looked at some GFS pickups because they’re cheap. But the stock pickups are cheap so who knows if it’s worth it.


This leads me to a real piss off. This is a common frustration of living in Canada when most online stuff comes from the US. I wasted a bunch of time on GFS’ website picking out upgrades for this guitar. Got a nice heavy wraparound replacement bridge. Some locking tuners I thought would actually fit. A new switch…oh I forgot that, the switch on this guitar absolutely sucks. I’d also picked out a soldering iron and some solder…I think that’s it. The total came to like $80 which was pretty good. The shipping was an extra $70. Seriously, shipping was almost as much as the purchase. So I cancelled the whole thing. No way they can justify that garbage. I bought the entire guitar from guitar center in the States and the shipping was like $10. Anyway, I’ll mod it some day.


The silver lining of this was I saved the money I was going to spend on modding this and put it towards a bass. I’ve never had a bass guitar, I’m getting it today and am looking forward to trying something new. I’m not even sure what the standard tuning is for a bass but I am going to be awesome, you’ll see. Flea better watch out. Or since I’m Canadian I guess Geddy Lee better watch out.


This has been a long and rambling post, but to summarize this is a good guitar for not a lot of money, and more importantly Go Leafs.